The Apprentices (Amendment) Act, 2014 and Rules 2015

In any industry or an establishment the employer can impart an Apprenticeship training under the Apprentices Act, 1961. Basically this Apprenticeship training contains both theoretical instructions and on-the-Job training in the organizational premises. With the amendment, the training (for theoretical instructions) can be outsourced to a third party. Earlier there was a fixed quota to engage such Apprentices.

An Apprentice is a person who undergoes Apprenticeship training in designated trade in any subject field, either engineering or non-engineering or technology or vocational course. The Stipend is paid by the Employer and the period of training varies from 6 months to 3 years, depending upon the designated trade (around 259 currently). Whereas the stipend for Graduates/Technician (around 163 currently), it is shared equally by the Employer of the organization and the Central Government.

The highlights of the amendment was more Establishment friendly:

The qualification was 8th, 10th, 12th and ITI pass-outs, which was now extended to specific BSc course and Engineering
The amendment also was extended to Non-Engineering graduates and establishments were allowed to engage apprentices in optional trades

The trade wise of quota of engagement of apprentices was amended with band of 2.5% to 10% of total strength of establishment including contractual employees.

An establishment with total strength 100 can engage maximum of 10 apprentices and minimum of 3 apprentices.

Penalty in form of Prosecution was removed and only fine is levied for contravention of provisions of the Act.

Returns and contract of Apprenticeship is now online.

Notwithstanding, the following sops are also initiated:

Government of India will share 25% of prescribed stipend subject to INR 1500 per month per Apprentice

Government of India will share basic training cost of INR 7500 (i.e. 50% of total basic training cost arrived at INR 30/hour/apprentice for maximum of 500 hours)

The Stipend paid to apprentices over and above 2.5% upto 10%can be considered as a CSR of the Organization
The Revised rate of Apprenticeship, effective September 2014 is:

1st year: 70% of Minimum Wages of semi-skilled worker notified by such State
2nd year: 80% of Minimum Wages of semi-skilled worker notified by such State
3rd & 4th years: 90% of Minimum Wages of semi-skilled worker notified by such State

Obligation of the employers

Apprentice appointed has to execute a contract of apprenticeship with the employer. The agreement must be registered with Apprenticeship Adviser. If an apprentice is minor, an agreement has to be signed via his father or mother.
The apprentices ought to be furnished with sufficient training in lines with the provisions of the act and also by means of the terms of the apprenticeship agreement. For this purpose, an enterprise must make good enough preparations for the cause of providing practical schooling.

Good enough Instructors should be appointed for the purpose of training if the employer is not in a position of training the apprentices himself. The team of workers so appointed ought to have prescribed qualifications for the purpose of training the apprentice practically and theoretically to ease the trade test of the apprentices.

The organization might be liable to compensate for any non-public accidents that an apprentice may suffer during the duration of apprenticeship. The compensation should paid as per the provisions of the Workmen’s Act 1923 as applicable.
The organization is obligated to pay the prescribed minimum wages to every apprentice or the prescribed minimum wages
An employer cannot compel apprentice to work overtime until and unless he has a due permission from the concerned Apprenticeship Advisor, who shall not permit until he is contented that an apprentice should work time beyond the prescribed time in his own interest or public interest.
An apprentice must be allowed by the organization to take leaves or vacations weekly as per the company’s policy.
An apprentice is not a workman throughout the apprentice training program.  Statutory benefits like Bonus, PF, ESI Act, Gratuity, Industrial Disputes Act and so forth aren’t applicable to the apprentice trainee.

However, provisions of Factories Act concerning fitness, safety and welfare are applicable to the trainee. Apprentice is also entitled to get compensation from the employer for any kind of injuries happens during the period of employment.

An employer is not obliged to employ the apprentice after of completion of apprenticeship

National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme : 

National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme has been notified by the Government. The Scheme has an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore with a target of 50 Lakh apprentices to be trained by 2019-20. Apprenticeship Training is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to develop skilled manpower for the country. It provides for an industry led, practice oriented, effective and efficient mode of formal training.  25% of the prescribed stipend payable to an apprentice would be reimbursed to the employers directly by the Government of India. The scheme also supports basic training, which is an essential component of apprenticeship training by sharing of basic training cost with basic training providers in respect of apprentices who come directly to apprenticeship without any formal trade training (fresher apprentices).

All transactions including registration by employers, apprentices, registration of contract and payment to employers will be made as online mode. Eligible employers shall engage apprentices in a band of 2.5% to 10% of the total strength of the establishment. Employers need to register on the apprenticeship portal and must have TIN/TAN and any one of EPFO/ESIC/LIN.


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